My favourites: Gluten free flours

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Image credits: www.elanaspantry.com/why-almond-flour
Image credits: www.elanaspantry.com/why-almond-flour

There are many reasons why people choose to go gluten free. It can be about taste, well-being, lifestyle, or a health condition. However, one thing for sure, when they either decide avoiding it or definitely going gluten free, they start to freak out: “what am I going to do without bread? without pasta? without cake?”.

One interesting exercise is going to the supermarket and paying attention to the huge variety of products that are available and targeted to consumers looking for options that are healthy and gluten free. Next step is to decide amongst these options which of them you are keen to try and bring home!

We know wheat flour has its own set of properties that results in distinct texture, flavour, volume, and shape to our recipes. However, by combining different types of gluten free flours you can get a similar result as if you were using the gluten star: wheat flour.

Here I’ll list the ones I use the most in my recipes:

  • Almond flour/meal: Low Carb, Paleo, High Protein, and High Fibre
    • It has a mild flavour and gives a light texture to your bakings. I love to use them on cakes, cupcakes, pancakes, chewy cookies, and muffins. As they don’t absorb too much liquid you can use almost in the same proportion as if you were using plain flour.
  • Cassava flour: Paleo, Neutral flavour
    • Cassava flour is quite new for the world in general, but in Brazil it’s very common, especially for those who live in the Northeast part of the country. I love this flour, it has a mild flavour, it’s good for cakes and breads and its texture is almost the same as using plain flour. To be honest, anything made with it is YUM!
  • Coconut flour: Low Carb, Paleo, and High Fibre
    • A good low carb version full of fibre. You must be wise when using this flour, as it absorbs too much water you might end up with a hard and dry dish. I normally use it in small quantities to add more fibre to my bakings or when I’m making something that does not require too much flour or uses many wet ingredients.
  • Tapioca starch: Paleo, Neutral flavour, and starch
    • This is a good option when you need to bring that elasticity only gluten can give. As Tapioca starch is not the best option when you think about nutrition, I use it in small quantities, only to help me giving that bounce in bakings.
  • Flaxseed meal: Low Carb, Paleo, High Protein, and High Fibre
    • Full in fibre, also absorb liquids. I recommend to use it in moderation, only to give a nutritional kick to your recipe or when the recipe needs small quantities of flour. Also, it is a good replacement for eggs.
  • Teff: Low Carb, and High Protein
    • This one is awesome either in cakes or bread. Like tapioca, it helps giving elasticity and bounce to your bakings. And the best part is: it’s high in protein and has a mild flavour.
  • Rice and brown rice flour: Neutral flavour
    • If you want to go easy, rice flour can be used 1:1 in any recipe, but as it is a grain (and I try to avoid this group) I normally don’t use it. However, it has a neutral flavour that helps a lot when you start to move from wheat flour to wheat free.
  • Psyllium: Low Carb and High fibre
    • I love this one! It’s full of fibre and low carb. As it easily absorbs liquids I normally use in small quantities. When you think about a gluten substitute, psyllium is the one. It gives elasticity, bounce and helps to keep its distinctive shape.

In another post I’m going to explain how to create the perfect gluten free blend from scratch. Keep tuned on! 🙂

My favourites: Top 5 Paleo Books

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Hi there, this is Handy!

Following a Paleo Diet is not only about eating certain types of food, whilst totally ignoring another group – it is a lifestyle choice!

This is not a blog about Paleo diets, you know, but Paleo ideas also promote the conscious consumption of natural, real food, and that’s why we also love it.

If you are keen to know more about Paleo – and you should! – find below my top 5 choices of Paleo Books.

Juli Bauer's Paleo Cookbook: Over 100 Gluten-Free Recipes to Help You Shine from Within

Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook: Over 100 Gluten-Free Recipes to Help You Shine from Within

It is a very long book title, but it describes the book perfectly. In this book you can find 100 Paleo recipes (that also happen to be Gluten-Free – cool) that are certainly going to take your diet to the next level, and your lifestyle too!

Make it Paleo II: Over 175 New Grain-Free Recipes for the Primal Palate

Make it Paleo II: Over 175 New Grain-Free Recipes for the Primal Palate

Make sure you get the second version of this book (note the II in the title) to benefit from a reviewed and expanded version of the first book. Most of the recipes are brilliant transformations of popular recipes into Paleo-friendly ones. Don’t miss it!

Gather, the Art of Paleo EntertainingGather, the Art of Paleo Entertaining

This book aims to extend the Paleo mindset into family recipes that can be perfectly enjoyed even by those who are not following any diet. It also follows the essence of a Paleo diet: creating delicious food that also promotes good health.

Nom Nom Paleo: Food for HumansNom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans

Created with an extra pinch of humour, this book brings to the table a fun, fresh, and satisfying approach to cooking with Paleo-friendly ingredients. Recipes are organised in a way to fit different lifestyles, from a busy business person to an occasional cook with more time to spare in the kitchen.

Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods LifestylePractical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle

Forget all those ideas about calorie-counting and strict diets. What really matters is eating natural food, avoid processed foods and industrialised food simply labelled as “healthy”. Meal plans are included to support a healthy lifestyle and to make your life easier in kitchen.

Gluten Free Chocolate Lava Cake #sugarfree #nutfree

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What’s up, guys? It is Toddy here.

This Gluten Free Chocolate Lava Cake is perfect to surprise a friend with a fancy dessert or, why not, simply ourselves! It is sugar-free, gluten free, nut free and very chocolaty. Full of flavour combined with that gooey centre we love to see in a chocolate lava cake. Yummy!

And don’t push yourself too hard, every now and then we deserve a special treat. 😉

Ingredients
  • 150g of dark chocolate (90%)
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of honey (optional)
  • 2 eggs
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 150C (302F).
  2. In a bowl put together the chocolate, butter and honey. Melt them in bain marie or using a microwave (be careful to not burn the chocolate).
  3. After melting and mixing everything together, bring it out from the bain marie and add the eggs.
  4. Mix until everything is well combined.
  5. Grease two small cake tins with butter and pour some cocoa powder in it.
  6. Place the batter into the tins and bake it for 6 min (approximately).
  7. Keep an eye on your oven to avoid overcooking them. Each cake must be firm on the outside but still have that delicious and gooey centre.
  8. Serve it warm and with some cream.
  9. Enjoy it as a special treat. 🙂

Rich Hot Chocolate #sugarfree #nutfree

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Hi everyone,
It’s Lu here and I must say, it’s been so cold these days in Australia that we can’t stop thinking about hot goodies.

You know, something that will warm our body and, of course, our belly. This Sugar-Free Hot Chocolate recipe is perfect, so rich… Hmmm yummy!

Ingredients
  • 300ml of pure cream
  • 60g of dark chocolate (90%)
  • 1 tablespoon of raw honey (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
Directions
  1. In a saucepan, stir in all ingredients until everything is well combined.
  2. Bring it to your stove and keep mixing in low heat.
  3. Keep doing that until the chocolate melts and the mixture starts to get thick. This will take about 6 minutes.
  4. Pour it in two mugs, and it’s done! If you want to give it an extra heat, add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
  5. Enjoy this rich and hot drink in a cold day. 

Upside Down Apple Cake #sugarfree #glutenfree #paleo

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This cake is absolutely beautiful. Imagine that, you can impress everybody with your cooking skills, plus serve a delicious, healthy, #sugarfree and #glutenfree upside down apple cake.

You know, we need to make food that is good for our body and pretty enough for our eyes. 😀

Ingredients
  • Apple topping
    • 50g of butter
    • 2 sliced apples
    • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
    • 1 tablespoon of raw honey (optional)
  • Cake
    • 1/2 cup of almond flour
    • 2 tablespoons of coconut flour
    • 1 tablespoon of psyllium
    • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
    • A pinch of salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
    • 75g of butter
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
    • 1 cup of yogurt
Directions
  1. Apple topping
    1. Get 50g of butter and break it into small pieces. Place them in a cake pan.
    2. Also add two sliced apples, placing them into the cake pan in a pretty way (check on the video how Handy did it).
    3. Next add over them, one tablespoon of cinnamon and finish with one tablespoon of honey.
    4. Reserve the apples for later.
  2. Cake time
    1. Mix together all dry ingredients. Reserve.
    2. Then, using your stand mixer, add 75 grams of butter and beat it until the butter gets fluffy.
    3. Next add eggs, lemon juice and yogurt.
    4. Stop your stand mixer and, using a spatula, fold it into the dry mixture.
    5. Pour the batter on the apple topping.
    6. Bake it for 35 minutes in a preheated oven to 160C (320F).
    7. Wait a few minutes before removing it from the cake pan.
    8. Enjoy it. 🙂